Browsing Tag

music and the brain

Directors' Toolbox

How to Help Students with Special Needs in Music Class

January 15, 2019

Dr. Alice Hammel remembers when Vinnie started school. He had frequent outbursts and struggled throughout most of his elementary school years; eventually, he was diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum. Dr. Hammel, who is a nationally recognized expert on teaching music to children of all ages with special needs, said Vinnie was unusual in that he could not match pitch – at all.

Continue Reading…

Music Advocacy

How Music Education Benefits the Brain

November 14, 2018

Processing sound is one of the human brain’s most difficult jobs. The task involves multiple brain systems that need to be able to respond in microseconds.  Over the history of human development, it has been important for survival to be able to instantly and precisely recognize the sound of a snapping twig or a crunching leaf when it’s dark.

Continue Reading…


Pat Martino: Here and Now

April 27, 2015

When hearing about the prospect of meeting and interviewing Pat Martino, all we could think about here at Pepper was how much we love his music and what musical knowledge we would learn from him. To our surprise and delight, music was not the driving force for many of the life-changing experiences in Pat Martino’s life.

Continue Reading…

Music Advocacy

Play Music, Age Well

June 10, 2011

There has been much research done on the cognitive benefits of musical activity during childhood;  a recent study conducted by the University of Kansas analyzes whether or not these benefits carry over into adulthood.  While more research is needed, the findings thus far are quite fascinating.

Continue Reading…

Music Advocacy

Creativity: Your Brain on Improv

January 20, 2011

I know what you’re thinking.  How can one scientifically analyze a concept that, by its very nature, is capricious and unpredictable?  Dr. Charles Limb, a faculty member of the Peabody Conservatory of Music, has done a fascinating study on the activity of the brain when engaged in a musical activity.

Continue Reading…


Music in the Water

October 21, 2010
If you read a previous Pepper blog entitled This is Your Brain on Music, then you already know about the effects music has on our bodies.  With the human body being composed of anywhere between 55% and 78% water, I wanted to explore the effects of musical vibrations (a.k.a. sound waves) on the body.

Continue Reading…